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Home / Economy / The biggest stories of the week gone by – in charts

Every week, Plain Facts publishes a compilation of data-based insights—complete with easy-to-read visual charts—to help you delve deeper into the stories reported by Mint. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will announce its monetary policy review today. The week saw the keenly watched 5G auction end after a seven-day marathon, earning the government 1.5 trillion.

Inflation Control

The Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy committee (MPC) is likely to hike repo rate by 35-50 basis points (bps) on Friday, according to a Mint survey of 10 economists. Five of the 10 economists predicted a rate hike of as much as 50 bps, which would take it to 6.4%, while the other five suggested that in the face of easing inflationary pressures, the committee could adopt a relatively lenient position and hike the rate by 35 bps to 5.25%. The pre-pandemic repo rate was 5.15%.

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Widening Deficit

India’s trade deficit swelled to a record $31.02 billion in July due to high commodity prices and a weak rupee, provisional data released by the government showed. Merchandise exports contracted by 0.8% year-on-year to $37.24 billion, while imports rose 44% to $66.26 billion in July. The widening trade deficit is expected to exert further pressure on an already weak rupee, which had touched a lifetime low of 80.16 to the US dollar two weeks ago.

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Frantic Rush

7.2 million: THAT’S THE record number of income-tax returns filed in a single day on 31 July, the deadline to do so. The mad rush by taxpayers on the last day also created records for the most returns filed in a second (570 at 4:29:30 pm), in a minute (9,573 at 7:44 pm), and in an hour (517,030 between 5 pm and 6 pm). The previous single-day record was 4.9 million returns filed in 2019. A total of 58.3 million returns were filed by 31 July for AY 2022-23.

Spectrum Sale

The much-awaited auction of 5G spectrum made the government richer by 1.5 trillion. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd opted for an aggressive strategy by shelling out more than 88,000 crore to purchase pan-India airwaves in the 3.3GHz and 26 GHz band. During the seven-day auction, the government sold 71% of the 72,098MHz airwaves on sale. More than half of the total earnings came from the sale of spectrum in the 3.3GHz band.

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FMCG Outlook

A GOOD monsoon, price hikes and the upcoming festive season helped the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector record a growth of 8-10% in value terms in 2022, according to market researcher NielsenIQ. The growth in value came despite a fall in volumes in the last six months: the sector reported a decline of 2.4% in volumes. Though the sector is expected to report double-digit growth by the end of this year, inflationary headwinds will continue to exert pressure, it added.

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Record Show

313 kg: The weight lifted by Indian lifter Achinta Sheuli in the men’s 73-kg category at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Sunday. With this remarkable effort, the 20-year-old lifter not only helped India bag its third gold medal, he also created a Commonwealth Games record. Sheuli lifted 140kg and 143kg in the snatch round. He then went on to lift 166kg and 170kg in the clean and jerk round to register a Games record for the overall weight.

Quest For Privacy

The government on Wednesday decided to withdraw the much anticipated data protection bill, which had sought to regulate how an individual’s data can be used by companies. While the bill had its set of issues, it brings to fore how data breaches have been a major problem across the world. India is the second worst-hit country in terms of data breaches, data compiled by Surfshark showed. The Centre has said it would now bring a revised legislation

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Chart Of The Week: Unicorn Lull

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India has added just 19 unicorns this year so far. This translates to less than three a month, as compared to four a month in 2021. A funding lull amidst a tough global environment has led to the slowdown.

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